August 27, 2005
Successful entreprenuers are funding k-12 education reform at higher rates than ever before and with more focus. Gates, the heaviest hitting education philanthropist at $1.2 billion in the last 5 years, targets the creation/recreation of small high schools. The role of philanthropy has changed not just in terms of funding, but in terms of public policy:
"What many people, especially on the left, are concerned about is whether these folks are buying a piece of public policy," said Mr. Hess, who was the moderator at a conference last spring on K-12 philanthropy. "It's a reasonable question, since the political economy of this is that their work is usually evaluated only by people they hire, and the findings, which tend to be positive or mixed, are disseminated in glossies that play up the positive aspects.
August 26, 2005
Charter schools in California, for instance, receive on average about $4,800 per student in federal, state and local taxpayer money, compared with the $7,000 that traditional public schools there receive, the study found. In New York, it said, the average charter school receives $10,500 per student, compared with $13,300 at traditional public schools.
The local housing authority in Macon county is adding a school liason and assistant to it's staff in an effort to further connect families to schools.
Researchers from Harvard's School of Public health overlaid maps of fast food chains and schools in Chicago. Surpise, the fast food chains wisely clustered around the schools, often within walking distance. Reporting so far hints at fast food chains targeting children, but the real responsiblity lies within the city planning office -- zoning around schools should not include fast food chains.
In this revised and updated version of its online, interactive database Paycheck to Paycheck, the Center for Housing Policy presents wage information for more than 60 occupations and home prices and rents for nearly 200 metropolitan areas. Paycheck to Paycheck utilizes consistent measures of wages and housing costs so you can:
- See how workers in your metropolitan area are faring in the housing market;
- View the big picture for housing affordability for working families in various occupations across the country; and
- Use these analyses as a template to examine wages and housing costs in neighborhoods in your community.
Data presented here are for the 1st Quarter of 2005.
The study from the nonprofit Social Compact used tax assessor data, credit reports and other methods to estimate population and household incomes in four areas: Fruitvale, East Oakland, West Oakland and Lower San Antonio. When researchers compared their so-called drill down methodology with statistics based on census data, they found nearly 11,000 more residents, or nearly 7 percent more people, than official government estimates. Social Compact found an even greater disparity in aggregate income in the four neighborhoods, which had a total buying power of nearly $2.8 billion in 2004 -- 17 percent more than estimates based on a 2004 census trend projection.
Real estate developer The Cannon Co. recently received financing from CharterMac and Related Capital to renovate Walton Trail Apartments in Atlanta. Under the plan, Cannon is joining forces with the Atlanta Youth Project to offer after-school educational programs for resident youths. The project centers around a 7,000-square-foot children's adventure center intended to help families raise children in a safe, quality and affordable environment.
August 18, 2005
This public charter school will occupy the third floor of an 1860 industrial building in the central business district. The school provides a small, learner-directed community that encourages investigative learning, global citizenship and nurtures a sense of belonging. The school’s purpose is to graduate students who are knowledgeable, discerning, passionate, creative, and reflective.
A total of 100 seats will be available in the fall of 2002, with a projected enrolment in 2004 of 200. The school expects to expand onto the 4th floor as enrollment grows. The 14,000 square foot 3rd floor area is small by high school standards - typically about 140 SF per student or 17,000 square feet would be utilized; however, the school is located within walking distance of the public library, YMCA, art museum, aquarium, and television station – allowing the school to leverage other facilities for learning.
August 17, 2005
Thomas Blurock Architects of Costa Mesa, CA, converted part of a shopping center into the Pueblo Educational Village for Pomona USD -- a site now containing two elementary schools and a conference center, and slated to include an adult education center, child care center, and a teacher training center. The project received an Adaptive Reuse Merit Award from the AIA (the award website includes floor plan and elevation thumbnails).
- Capacity: 1,800 students
- Space/Student: 92 square feet
- Area: 110,000 square feet
- Total Cost: $12.6 million
- Cost/Square Foot: $112
- Completion: September, 2000
Manhattan Village Academy by Beverly Willis
The article discusses projects by the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), including:
P.S. 56 by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects LLP
"The school's L-shaped plan separates community spaces (the short leg) and school spaces (the long leg), so the former can operate into the eveninig. Corridors are treated like village streets; classrooms boast windows 'where the life of the classroom is displayed.'"
P.S. 54 by R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects -- 82,000 sq. ft., 5 stories, 600 students, Bronx infill site -- light, air inside and three brick colors for entrances and different volumes
August 16, 2005
In English, 40 percent of California students scored "proficient" or "advanced" on the rigorous exam, up from 35 percent last year, and 31 percent in 2001. "Proficient" is considered to be scoring at grade level.
In math of all kinds -- from arithmetic to algebra and geometry -- 38 percent of students scored at grade level, up from 34 percent last year and 32 percent in 2001.
August 15, 2005
Are the exurbs the new Republican stronghold?
August 11, 2005
Despite some progress during the 1990s, the share of African Americans joining the middle class has stagnated over the past 20-30 years. In testimony to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Urban Institute visiting fellow Harry Holzer suggests public policy should focus on improving educational attainment and skill development among blacks at all levels of schooling; improving labor force attachment and access to better jobs, especially among young black men; and raising the number of black families with two adult earners, or at least where fathers contribute to family incomes.
Faith-based initiatives are a core component of the administration's domestic agenda, and it has pursued their adoption vigorously. This study focuses on how these efforts have been received at the state and local levels, whether and how they have changed the involvement of faith-based organizations (FBOs, for short) in public programs, and what we know and need to know about the nature of the services FBOs deliver.
- Approximately 60 percent of U.S. cities with more than 25,000 residents now impose impact fees to fund infrastructure needed to service new housing and other development (GAO, 2000). In 89 jurisdictions selected for study in California, the state in which impact fees are most heavily used, the average amount of fees imposed on singlefamily homes in new subdivisions in 1999 was $19,552, with fees ranging from a low of $6,783 to a high of $47,742 (Landis et al., 2001). Although California jurisdictions impose fees higher—perhaps much higher—than those in other jurisdictions, impact fees are an increasingly important cost of development, especially in the fastest growing areas of the United States.*
Notes to come...
LAUSD, LA City, A Community of Friends, and New Schools Better Neighborhoods have completed a collaborative process that has resulted in a plan that includes Gratts New Primary School, family housing, childcare facilities, a Boys and Girls Club, an early education facility and a playground that will also serve as a neighborhood park. In this interview, Councilman Ed Reyes, ACOF CEO Dora Leong Gallo, and ACOF Project Manager John Wolter, reflect on the process to acheive these community benefits.
August 09, 2005
A studio at Princeton's School of Architecture in 2002 focused on the development of 30 new small schools within 9 existing school buildings in the Bronx, called the New Century Schools. Claiming Space for Small Schools, a report produced by Assistant Professor Laura Kurgan, is linked to by Architects of Achievement.
Notes in the extended...
Architects of Achievement, a Seattle based design group on the Gates' scorecard, links to several publications from Stanford's School Redesign Network, including Redesigning Schools: What Matters and What Works, 10 Features of Good Small Schools. Although tensions have existed between Linda Darling-Hammond and Teach for America, both espouse similar philosophies of teaching. As an overview to small schools, this piece takes a general stab at many aspects of education without much depth or detail. Model schools are also referenced, but only in brief paragraphs that point towards further investigation on the part of the reader.
Most of it is just common sense.
Notes in the extended...
August 08, 2005
Newsom recently spoke of the under-construction Plaza Apartments as a future blue-print for green affordable housing in SF:
"Cities are consuming 75 percent of the Earth's national resources and in turn contributing to 75 percent of everything that's wrong with the global environment," Newsom said. "That being said, it seems incumbent on us as mayors at the local level to recognize our responsibility to address the issues of global warming, environmental justice and stewardship."
August 01, 2005
"I feel like it's Christmas,'' said Bob McCleary, executive director of the Contra Costa County Transportation Authority, who called the widening project the county's most critical. "It's twice what we had been led to expect we would get.''